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Nutrigenomics Centre Opens Doors

by Ellen Hardy
23 April 2008, at 1:00am

IRELAND The global animal health company Alltech cut the ribbon on its Centre for Animal Nutrigenomics and Applied Animal Nutrition this week. They are calling the facility the first of its kind in the world, as it is dedicated to the studying the effect of nutrition on gene expression.

Becky Timmons, director of quality assurance, Alltech; Dr. Karl Dawson, director of worldwide research, Alltech; Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear; Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder, Alltech; and Dr. Ronan Power, director of research, Alltech, cut the ribbon on Alltech’s Centre for Animal Nutrigenomics and Applied Animal Nutrition.

The Nutrigenomics laboratory employs the latest technologies to generate databases detailing the effects of nutrition on gene expression profiles in the tissues of various species. The databases will be analysed to determine the health and performance status of livestock and the best nutritional interventions for peak production potential.

"I, along with everyone at Alltech, am very excited about the potential of this incredible facility, the first of its kind anywhere in the world,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech. “The ability to comprehend nutrition at the most basic level – gene expression – really makes us stand apart and will give us a much greater understanding of the nutritional needs of our animals.”

In addition to Nutrigenomics, the facility will house the company’s research initiatives at its global headquarters, including the study of Functional Glycomics, Solid State Fermentation, Rumen Function and Ecology, Aquaculture, Organic Trace Minerals and Biorefining.

In coming years, the facility is expected to require 40 additional research professionals to be fully staffed. To help address this need, in 2007, Alltech formed a partnership with the University of Kentucky (UK) to advance research in the field of nutrigenomics. As part of this partnership, Alltech gave UK a $900,000 grant that will, in part, help to place faculty and staff from the College of Agriculture at the company’s Nutrigenomics facility.

Ellen Hardy